The Oklahoma City Thunder travel to Atlanta to take on the Atlanta Hawks to continue this road trip at the start of the second half of the NBA season. The Thunder come in 17-23, 5-5 in their last ten games, while the Hawks are 20-20, and turn in a six-game winning streak on their way to a 7-3 record in their last ten games under interim head coach Nate McMillan.
The Thunder, stop me if you have heard this before, will be shorthanded. The OKC Thunder will be without Darius Bazley (Shoulder), Josh Hall (Knee), George Hill (Thumb), and Meyers Leonard (Not with the team). The Thunder sees valuable young players in Lu Dort (Toe), and Theo Maledon (Thumb) questionable for tonight’s tilt against the Hawks.
Lu Dort and his ability to defend Trae Young, can really swing this game, so his status will be very important. The starting group, defensively, was horrendous without Dort against Zach LaVine on Tuesday.
Darius Bazley remains sidelined with a Shoulder Contusion he suffered in practice prior to the startup of the second half of the season, and to this point, Mark Daigneault has consistently told those of us in the media it is not anything too serious. Coach Daigneault will update us pregame on his status.
The Hawks will be without Kris Dunn, De’Andre Hunter, and Cam Reddish, but do have some big question marks with Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu listed as questionable for tip-off.
The Thunder are fresh off a 21-point blowout loss at the hands of the Chicago Bulls, and typically the OKC Thunder this season have been great at bouncing back from those tough losses. With Al Horford back in the fold, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ready to go, this is a prime game for the Thunder to come out and shock a team again.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are seven-point underdogs tonight against the Atlanta Hawks, and I am taking OKC +7, and could even come away with a win as the team enters a pivotal stretch in their second-half schedule prior to the NBA Trade Deadline. The Thunder will take on the Rockets and Wolves coming up, two teams with worse records than OKC that heavily impact the Thunder’s draft future. Also, two teams that are worse than OKC. However, with the Rockets getting Christian Wood back, and the Wolves starting to play better, this will be a fun string of games starting tonight against Atlanta.
With Al Horford back in the lineup tonight, it will be interesting to see how Mark Daigneault manages Moses Brown’s minutes with the vets. You could see some funny business, where Al Horford is announced as a starter but in the flow of the game, Brown plays as many or more minutes.
This story will be updated with quotes from Mark Daigneault pregame on the starting lineup, an update on the injury report, and whatever else the head coach tells those of us in the media! Follow along on Twitter for live updates.
Mark Daigneault tells those of us in the Media Darius Bazley is “week-to-week.”
Mark Daigneault says that George Hill is making progress, but he is still in a cast.
Mark Daigneault confirms Svi Mykhailiuk will play some today.
Mark Daigneault confirmed Lu Dort and Theo Maledon are active today.